Rabbi's Passover Letter 2017

Passover 2017


Dear Friends

Words count!  Language is not designed for gratuitous expression, to insult, debase or harm others - though words clearly can be used in an abusive and destructive fashion. The Seders that are the core of the Passover experiences are a dramatic retelling of the formative moment in Jewish history - and the words create our core values. The Seder is the sacred script of words to convey values from our past to infuse our present time with deep meaning. Passover conveys the genius of Judaism to each generation within the embracing warmth of our homes.  

We are justifiably in awe of the memories we magically create with each Seder.  And the nexus of family, traditions and fabulous foods are the stirring ingredients in the teaching and living of our fundamental values as articulated by the ethical words of the Haggadah (which means “to tell”).

The glory and grandeur of our faith is that history is ever relevant and that the lessons of yesteryears become the moral imperative of today.  At our Seders there are many fashions by which we weave together creative activities and new traditions in order to provide entry points of meaning for those of all ages and backgrounds.  The DHJC guide for Passover will be mailed to you and on-line in the weeks prior to Pesach and there are a myriad of opportunities presented as to how to create more engaging Seder celebrations. In addition, Passover workshops are being offered at DHJC to empower Seder leaders to make their words and messages count.

Passover is also meant to be fun for the children and grandchildren - as exemplified by the songs and games (searching for the afikomen is an ancient hide and seek!) and even the very foods on the Seder plate.  Ultimately the Seder is about an idea, and intellectual grasp of what true liberation is all about.  In the narrative of the Seder (spoiler alert), our people became free.  Not only free from the servitude and bondage of an oppressive tyrant but we leave behind the emotional and profound psychological burden and truly become free.  We leave Egypt behind and we expunge Egypt from our psyche and transcend the past.  And as Judaism articulates Passover as the voice of freedom and liberation for our people, then it becomes self-apparent that true freedom is not implying an opportunity for some, it is the destiny for all peoples.

I commend to your attention a deeply and soulfully satisfying book published last month and written by the leading European intellectual, Bernard-Henri Levy, entitled, The Genius of Judaism. Levy takes each reader on a majestic exploration of the glorious history and heritage of our people in contrast to the ongoing hatreds and lies that led to the Crusades, the Holocaust and cabals and calumnies against Israel and Zionism.  Above all, Levy masterfully alerts every person to the glory of Judaism and to choose to be open to the message of our sacred texts in the full awareness of the diversity of Jews and Jewish living.

In this light, the power of Torah is unlike any other sacred scripture.  Where other faiths memorize their scriptures, submit to their texts, and faithfully and obediently follow the texts, Judaism is counter-intuitive.  We encounter the text, grapple with the text, challenge the text, have layer upon layer of commentary upon the text, argue with the text - and the Haggadah of Passover is but one example, through confronting the text we create meaning, a meaning that is infinite and above all a meaning that has us "discover oneself in what one has learned."

Bernard-Henri Levy brings us to realize that our argumentation and layers of meaning in the Passover narrative focus on the ultimate liberation then and now!  We do not demonize even our enemies, we do not gloat when others are vanquished, we feel the pain and the anguish when anyone suffers and are impelled by our sacred texts to always remember that precisely because we experience slavery AND liberation, that it is our mandate to empower others to experience liberation as well.

One quote illustrates this point in light of the political tensions in our country.  Levy pens in, The Genius of Judaism,  “The lesson here is clear.  A lesson that might be of use to those, who as I proof these pages are 'fussing' about "the migrants ", slamming the door in their faces on the pretext that there are some disguised Amalekites (terrorists) among them, and calculating how much they are going to cost the "native stock."  The lesson is that decisions must be made in the moment and based upon the circumstances of the moment.  Do whatever must be done today without worrying too much about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  And, as it is said on the Jewish New Year, judge people where they are now, in their current moral and mental state, without worrying excessively about what they really have in their hearts and bellies. Stop the rivers of blood....”

Ponder this powerful statement by Levy and read his work.  Challenge our sacred scriptures at home and in Shul and above all, be challenged by the text and in that moment you will create great meaning and soulful inspiration! Mah Nishtanna Ha-Laila Hazeh - the nights and days of Passover can be and ought to be different for us this year. May we create meaning in the moments and may we truly be free from intolerance and bias.  Words count... and may the truth of Passover inspire us to understand freedom and liberation, then and now!  

Laura along with Yael, Yair and Lev, Aviva, Hillel, engaged to Jaclyn Frankel, Eliezer married to Tamar and Noam join me in wishing you and your loved ones a soulfully rich Pesach!

What's Happening at DHJC





Service Times

Normal Service Times - (Except Holidays & Shivas)

Daily Morning Minyan
Monday and Thursday, 6:45am
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 7am
Sunday, 9am

Daily Evening Minyan
Sunday to Thursday, 8pm

Shabbat Services
Friday, 7pm
Saturday, 9:15am

Mincha, Maariv and Havdalah 
Weekly at Sundown
(weekly calendar for exact times)

Save the Date!!

Calendar Updated

Please check our calendar for all our events. 
Early Childhood Center, Religious School & Youth Group & J-Team dates have been posted.

DHJC Collegiate Outreach

DHJC would love to keep in touch with your college student while they are away at school. Sisterhood would like to include your college student in our Collegiate Outreach Program. As a member of DHJC, your undergraduate college student(s) are entitled to receive various mailings and good wishes, all geared to the Jewish lifestyle and calendar.

Please fill out the form and email to Sheryl Gerber or bring to Ellen in the office.

Check out Back to School Deals



Don't Forget To Visit Our Photo Page!


Partners in Caring

The PIC Program provides Counseling, Education, Case Management and Volunteer Coordination through the gateways of our synagogue partners

Dix Hills Jewish Center

Huntington Jewish Center

North Shore Jewish Center

Temple Isaiah

PIC Coordinator 631-462-9800x239

Suffolk County Community-Wide Solidarity Rally

A time to mourn, A time to grieve, A time to remember, A time to Act! 

Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center

Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center, a Conservative Congregation, celebrating 50 years as a beacon of dynamic Judaism in Dix Hills. We are a traditional egalitarian synagogue committed to the reality that all Jews are full partners in the beauty of Jewish life and that all Jews are given an equal role in all rituals. The Dix Hills Jewish Center is an engaging, vibrant congregation. We are excited about the growth in our synagogue, and the wonderful growth of the Jewish community of Dix Hills, Commack and the neighboring communities. We are a community committed to learning, to supporting each other, and to being a warm and welcoming place for all who participate. Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center.

Service & Minyan times located at the bottom of the page.

If you are interested in attending any of our programs please check the Calendar in Upcoming Events. Children's programming is also available.

In Case Of........


For joyous occassions in your life, please share your naches with the Rabbi. Inform the Rabbi about births, engagements, weddings and other noteworthy moments in the life of your family. The Rabbi will arrange for baby namings, provide information regarding a mohel ( for infant boys), coordinate a pidyon ha-ben (the redemption ceremony for firstborn males), schedule an aufruf (to celebrate a forthcoming marriage), weddings and bring the richness of Jewish traditions and mitzvoth into your simcha(email rabbi or call 631-499-6644).


In case of illness and/or hospitalization, please notify the Rabbi at 631-499-6644 (24/6 - on Shabbat, see below for further emergency instructions)


Even before making funeral arrangements notify Rabbi Buechler at the synagogue office at 631-499-6644 (after office hours press #3 for the emergency numbers). Rabbi Buechler will assist and guide you in making the appropriate arrangements for the funeral. In the event that you cannot reach the Rabbi, contact the Jewish funeral home and begin to make your arrangements. PLEASE, if Rabbi Buechler is going to officiate at the funeral, do not finalize the funeral time until the Rabbi has contacted you. At most this will be a few hours. In the event that Rabbi Buechler is on vacation, Cantor Hevenstone is available and other local Conservative Rabbis are on call. Their names can be obtained by calling the synagogue office, an officer of the synagogue or the Ritual Chairman. It is also appropriate to contact Rabbi Buechler whenever tragedy or trauma occurs. On Shabbat and Yomtov the Rabbi does not use the telephone. Therefore, you can convey information to him on these days at the synagogue during scheduled service times, by calling him immediately after Shabbat or Yomtov or by going to his residence.

Social Action Committee

Bikur Cholim & Home Visits

Do you have a relative or friend in our congregation who would benefit from a personal home visit? We are here for you! Members of our DHJC Social Action Committee - Tender Loving Congregants -- will happily come to visit and chat. BIKUR CHOLIM -- we visit our friends and relatives in Gurwin. Become a volunteer. Learn how.

High School students -- learn how to be a volunteer at Gurwin! There are many ways to volunteer.

Please contact us [email protected]

An Aliyah for YOU

Whether you are 20 or 120, or anything in between, we would like to honor you on the anniversary of your bar or bat mitzvah. Please send the date of your bar/bat mitzvah or the name of your parsha to Lee Grebstein [email protected]

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